Epcot’s Test Track has been delighting Future World guests since the late 1990’s and continues to do so with the 2012 overhaul of the attraction’s theme. Reaching speeds of up to 65 mph, Test Track is a must do for any thrill-seeking guest at Walt Disney World. Let’s take a look at what makes Test Track one of Epcot’s best attractions.
Test Track’s history actually goes all the way back to Epcot’s opening in 1982. When the park first opened, many of the attractions and pavilions had corporate sponsors. This allowed these companies to advertise to consumers in a fun and unique way, while assisting Disney in the massive financial undertaking of launching a brand new theme park. In 1982, General Motors sponsored Epcot’s Transportation Pavilion which featured the attraction World of Motion. This omnimover attraction took guests on a journey through the history of transportation starting with the invention of the wheel and moving forward to current innovations and even looking into the transportation of the future. The soundtrack for the ride featured “It’s Fun To Be Free” written by none other than The Sherman Brothers.
Many of Epcot’s original corporate sponsorships were initially scheduled to last 10 years. At that time, some sponsors dropped out, while others renewed. General Motors liked the idea of continuing their sponsorship at Epcot; however, they wanted an attraction to sponsor an updated attraction – one that might make guests want to visit their local GM dealership and purchase a new vehicle upon returning home from Walt Disney World. So GM and the Disney imagineers began developing an idea for a new, more exciting Future World attraction.
Original Test Track
Test Track officially opened in the former World of Motion building in March of 1999, after numerous problems delayed the attraction’s expected 1997 opening by 2 years. The new attraction gave guests a glimpse into the automotive industry’s safety testing process. While waiting in the queue guests saw various safety tests and repairs. Of course, there was no shortage of crash test dummies. After viewing many of the tests which vehicles are put through before being ready for consumers, the guests would attend a briefing where they learned they would be experiencing these safety tests first hand.
Once aboard their very own test vehicle, guests experience several different safety tests. The rough roads test took the cars over various types of road surfaces including German blocks, Belgian blocks, and cobblestone. I’ll be honest, this was not my favorite test – it was a very bumpy ride! After the rough roads test, the cars proceeded to test the brakes both with and without anti-lock brakes. This test will really make you thankful to have ABS on your car! Next, it was on to the heat, cold, and corrosion (a mist of water) tests. After those tests, the car’s handling was put to the test with hill climbs, sharp turns, and even a close call with a semi-truck.
Test Track’s final test, a surprise test, was the barrier test. This test was always my favorite. Just when it looked like the vehicle was sure to smash into the barrier, the doors suddenly opened, sending guests and their vehicle out on the open road around the upper level of the attraction’s building. During this part of the attraction, ride vehicles reached speeds of up to 65 miles per hour, making it the fastest ride at Walt Disney World!
Re-imagined Test Track
In 2012, Test Track underwent a massive refurbishment. While the ride track itself did not change, just about everything else about the ride did. The new version of Test Track is sponsored by Chevrolet, a division of General Motors, rather than by the parent company. The new Test Track also has a contemporary look featuring sleek designs and a lot of color.
In addition to the ride itself, the queue also received a major overhaul. The attraction’s new interactive queue allows guests to try their hand in vehicle design. After scanning their Magic Band, guests are given a few minutes to design and select features such as tires, engine, and more. After the design is completed, it is saved to the guest’s Magic Band which they will scan again before entering their ride vehicle.
One of the best things about the new version of Test Track is the ability to actually test your vehicle design as you ride the attraction. As you and your vehicle go through each of the four tests – capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power – you will also see how your vehicle’s design fared in the test. In addition to the fun of sharp turns, high speeds, and the open road, the interactive components of Test Track add a whole new element of fun. The last time my husband and I rode Test Track, our vehicle designed fared pretty well. It came out on top for a couple tests and did fairly well on the others. Overall, we were quite happy with our stylish vehicle design. Not to mention, the new version of Test Track was even more fun than the original, which I wasn’t sure was even possible based on my love of the original.
Have you experienced the original or new versions of Test Track? Let me know in the comments which version of the attraction is your favorite! Be sure to visit the other stops along Magical Blogorail Green to discover the very best of Epcot’s Future World!
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Discover Future World Loop:
- 1st Stop – My Dreams of Disney | Rediscovering the Imagination Pavilion
- 2nd Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | Go Under the Sea Figuratively (or Literally!) at Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- 3rd Stop – Heidi’s Head | Everything You Need to Know about The Land
- 4th Stop – Superheroes and Teacups | Spaceship Earth: The Heart of Epcot
- 5th Stop – Main St. Insider | Discover Future World: Test Track
- 6th Stop – Disney Nouns | Universe of Energy
- 7th Stop – The Delightful Life | Discover the Music of Future World
- 8th Stop – My Dreams of Disney | A Child’s Innocence on Mission SPACE
- 9th Stop – Rolling with the Magic | Innoventions & Festival Center